A requiem for the European coal and steel community (1952-2002)

Nico Groenendijk, Gerrit J. Hospers

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In July 2002 the Treaty on the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) expired. The ECSC is now being dissolved, its assets are transferred into special research funds, and European coal and steel policy is integrated into mainstream EU industrial policy. The ECSC's main task was to integrate the post-war European coal and steel industry, but the ECSC can also be looked upon as an experiment in supranational government and economic policy coordination, among other things. The paper first discusses these different aspects of the ECSC. Attention is then paid to the economic policy and budgetary heritage the community leaves behind. In the light of the coming EU enlargement particularly the ECSC's experiences in fostering innovation and regional restructuring might provide useful lessons. Therefore, we conclude that in spite of its expiration, the basic ideas of the ECSC have lost nothing of their relevance yet.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)601-612
Number of pages12
JournalDe Economist
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • IR-58684
  • METIS-210527

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